Monday 28th August 2006
next update week ending 9th September 2006
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002
the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Please note that any comments made in this news page are those of the Editors' and in no way constitute
any official points of view from the bus companies mentioned, or indeed any other official body.
As a news page we reserve the right to make valid comments as seen from an editorial point of view.
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To see the pictures full size just click on the small one
Well, here we are at the last summer bank holiday of the year with the local weather still being almost kind. Last Friday was certainly a super day for photography as my pictures taken in Oxford show. This weekend also sees Notting Hill Carnival which has generated a lot of extra traffic on the Oxford-London services.
The roadworks at Thornhill are now set for a new phase which will see single line contra flow working at Green Road roundabout. This is expected to start tomorrow morning, Tuesday 29th August and will undoubtedly cause a lot of delays. Indeed the last week has seen single file working on the approach from the city which has resulted in lengthy delays to outbound bus and coach services from Oxford..
It is also expected that work will start on the Magdalen Bridge part of the main eastbound road into Oxford City centre. Coupled with other work on the High Street this is also set to cause significant delays to bus and coach services.
Following my comments on cyclists
and the road works approaching Carfax, I received another point of view from
cyclist, Richard Griffin, who says "...regarding
your item about cyclists riding their bikes up The High: I can see the
point you are making, and I fully agree that riding against the flow of traffic
is indefensible. However, those yellow diversion/dismount signs are only
something that have been put by contractors to fob-off cyclists: they aren't in
any way enforceable.
From the cyclist's point of view, remaining in the traffic-stream is the safest option. The advisory diversion via King Edward's Street and Blue Boar Street is considerably more dangerous as it involves slippery bumpy cobbles, a very narrow road frequented by badly-driven vans, crossing a busy pavement to pull out of a side-turning with visibility restricted by buses, and jaywalking pedestrians. Alternatively, to dismount where the signs show would involve voluntarily wasting several minutes pushing a bicycle along a narrow crowded pavement, which is a difficulty that really needs to be tried to be believed!
Bicycles in Oxford are here to stay, and really the question should be whether the *buses* should be allowed through the very centre during roadworks. Of course that would be unworkable from a passengers' point of view; and the same applies to banning cyclists."
Never let it be said that this page does not give voice to all points of view.
World Rowing Championships - more from Stephen Le Bras
Stephen writes further regarding
buses provided over this last weekend saying "The
Carousel involvement continued until Sunday 27th. I noted two Citaros,
CB52,53, all three Agoralines, 981 , DPL423 and 480 in use on the Sunday. Wonder
what they were using on the A40?
In addition, Olympian 426 from the Ensign fleet has been running an afternoons only service from Windsor Castle to the site, hourly from 2.30pm."
Did anyone get any pictures of the Carousel involvement?
A visit to St Albans by Gavin Francis - all pictures by Gavin Francis
Transport in St Albans
Gavin Francis spent an interesting day visiting St Albans last week and sent some pictures to illustrate what can be seen by visiting enthusiasts. Of course Arriva is very much in focus but other companies run in St Albans making it a very colourful place. Centrebus, Universitybus and Metroline also serve the city and each has its own website which may be accessed through the link above.
DAF 3276 is seen in the main street on a 321 working. It is in the latest livery.
Many of the Arriva buses serving St Albans are based at Stevenage and Volvo B10BLE 3301 is one such example.
The 300/301 runs from Stevenage to Hemel Hempstead and looks rather smart in this livery.
Many of the buses came from the Sovereign operation taken over by Arriva in 2005 and most have gained Arriva livery.
Stevenage was also home to this Volvo B10B which also has Wrights bodywork, making an interesting comparison to the B10BLE above.
As is seemingly usual with Arriva The Shires, the 38xx series of number was used for this bus, 3845, being in a batch of four.
They are DP configured and seat 49.
Similar buses form part of batch of 4 later coach seated B10Bs represented by 3850 in the latest livery on the 300.
St Albans is also seen by the new 724 branded Citaros on their way from Harlow to Heathrow. Here 3908 is seen in St Albans last Wednesday.
Centrebus is another operator in the city, based in Ronson Way and as such may be considered as a home player.
Another Centrebus Dart is this Plaxton Pointer nr 567.
Three Darts show off the variety of livery on the Centrebus fleet.
Once with Stagecoach South when new in 1994, this coach, 704 - L104SDY then moved to Ribble in Lancashire
and reached Centrebus through the Sovereign connection.
The red London Bus reached St Albans on route 84 where once RTs roamed. This route is now operated By Metroline
and these high floor Volvos are soon due to be replaced by low floor deckers.
Universitybus or UNO operate a fleet of mainly Darts in a very striking livery.
As Gavin's pictures show there a lot to interest the visitor with an bent towards the bus.
A visit to Swindon by Gavin Francis - all pictures by Gavin Francis
Gavin's second visit last week was to Swindon where Stagecoach meets Thamesdown. Again if you love Darts this is a place to visit. However Stagecoach have recently taken delivery some brand new Tridents and Thamesdown some Scanias.
I was disappointed when I looked up the Swindon official website to see that there was little on buses and I could not easily find the Park & Ride facilities. However when searching for Park & Ride I came up with this link http://www.parkandride.net/ which gives many places in the U.K. which have such facilities including Swindon. However I did not personally like the block capital type face used on the buses and feel that many people in the U.K. have kind of got used to the lower case type face used more often and the two shades of green used in many places.
Orange and green signify Park & Ride in Swindon and two other liveries can be seen on the buses pictured above.
Stagecoach have a large fleet based at Swindon Eastcott Street with outstations at Chippenham and Cirencester.
The fleet is home to some of the oldest Olympians in the group as well as examples of the latest Tridents.
Swindon can be reached on the very regular 66 service which normally uses refurbished Volvo B10Bs already featured on these pages.
An interesting opportunity on DVD
Robin Clare writes "Congratulations on continuing to produce a first class site. You might recall that I lived and worked in Wantage, and although it was twenty plus years ago, I continue to follow Oxford bus happenings avidly.
I have recently launched a "cottage industry" selling, on DVD, some of the video footage that I took in the late eighties and early nineties. My latest release, which will be advertised in the next issue of Buses magazine, contains scenes shot in Oxford in 1988 - there is some classic stuff there, I promise you. It is worth bearing in mind that NOTHING appearing on the video is still in service in Oxford, or anywhere else for most of them!"
I will advise where this can be purchased in a future edition of this page.
Amersham Running Day 2006
Peter Cartwright writes "Time is passing very quickly and the Amersham Running Day is now less than 2 months away. I know a number of you wish to participate but please can you confirm your attendance please as schedules will need to be compiled this coming week. They are already in draft form.
Please reply to my new e-mail address:- email@example.com.
Again my thanks to all my contributors, both old and new.
Malcolm Crowe - Monday 28th August 2006
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
News of the local companies – 28th August 2006
Nigel Peach writes "I noticed the other day that ex Oxford, Marshall bodied Dart 3833 (M503 VJO) has reappeared in Wycombe after a stay in Aylesbury for a couple of years. It has regained Wycombe blinds, as shown in this picture taken today (Sun 27th) at Cressex depot."
Nigel Peach caught 3833 at Cressex depot yesterday, hemmed in by various other buses.
Nigel goes on to add "I also noticed at Cressex similar bus 3103 (L300 BUS) which has been parked up there for a while. This is an ex Lucky Bus vehicle and was latterly at Harlow. The latest issue of Buses says that this vehicle has "gone for scrap"! 3103 was next to Mercedes 2417 (N177 DWM) and Plaxton Derwent Volvo 3080 (F152 KGS), neither of which look to have moved for a while."
Several interesting developments have taken place in recent weeks including the use of the layover bus in High Wycombe from the X32 on Saturdays for the mid morning 342 service to Stokenchurch. Last Saturday saw one of the Countyrider Solos on this working but in a previous week an Alero was used.
One of the most striking liveries to appear in recent week is on Trident 5431 based at Aylesbury which now has an overall advert for the radio station Mix96.
Trident 5431 is seen working the 280 last Friday.
Although featured before I think that ex Oxford Volvo 3855 looks very smart in the revised local livery from Arriva.
Featured last week in a partial shot was this ex North Wales DAF bus 4429 seen here on driver training last week in a photo sent by Gavin Francis.
Olympian 5160 is seen in New Rd, Oxford working a 280 service last Friday.
Frank Brown writes "I'd just like to set the record straight re last Saturdays Newlands farewell runs. In the absence of preserved Thames Valley vehicles, Carousel Buses kindly agreed to allocate their Thames Valley liveried Olympian onto front line service on their Line 1 [HW - Bourne End] instead of the usual single deck [DAF/Dart]. L556 [H556 GKX] duly operated in service on Line 1 up until 13.44 bringing the Thames Valley name back into the old bus station on that final day - surely someone got a photo?"
Well, I wonder does anyone have a picture of the Carousel contribution?
Agoraline AL3 is seen working a Line 4 service last Saturday.
Richard Sharman writes "Charlbury Travel was set up by an ex Worths driver who lives in Charlbury but vehicle is parked with Jeffs at Witney or RH Transport, Yarnton."
When the weather is good the tours do very well and here Volvo 55 carries a good load last Friday
Is Oxford one of the last places in the U K where you can ride an Atlantean for a day?
Volvo B10BLE 808 is now away for refurbishment at Plaxtons and 807 is back on the road. Several early refurbishments, 818-820, have now received the trim strips on the front dash panel and look very smart.
807 is seen here in New Road and one can notice the Mercedes wheel trims used on the rear wheels of these buses.
820 has now gained the front trim strip on the dash panel noted this week by Vikki Lee.
Irizar coach 3 nearing the end of its journey from London and seen in St Aldates, Oxford last Friday.
The oldest coach in the London fleet is now nr 8 which retains its original registration
Coach 9 long ago lost its original registration to Dart 409 which is seen above in St Aldates last Friday,
This picture should be entitled the star shine bright. 837 on an X4 working last Friday.
Some repaints have gained the new style logo and this includes Trident 103 seen last Friday on a 4 road working.
Trident 110 is the only such bus to sport Dennis front wheel trims, seen here on a Redbridge working last Friday.
Trident 115 has gained a super rear ad for local Solicitor Truemans.
The 400 Park & Ride service seems to have been split in the city centre on some workings due to the roadworks mentioned above.
Occasionally high floor Volvo B10Bs work this service and here 618 is seen heading for Seacourt last Friday.
Nuffield College in New Road always makes an excellent backdrop for buses in Oxford. Here 631, on a 4 road working
heads into the city centre at Queen Street. This bus may well be due for a repaint in the near future?
Another useful link for fleet news is :- http://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/cgi-bin/cms-pull.cgi?/oasis-ims/img/oxfordbus/live/20060726%20Enthusiast%20Update.pdf
Richard Sharman took this picture of one of the Jonckheere Volvos which has been reregistered recently.
It is now 4078NU, does anyone know its original registration?
McLeans seemingly provide coaches for tour operators and here a Sunsundegi FJ06 BTE is seen at their depot. Picture by Richard Sharman
Red Rose, Aylesbury
Again not the usual driver and not the usual bus but D303PEV is now quite often used on the 275. It is seen in the long traffic queue to Green Road last Thursday
Ian Pinnell writes "...once again excellent pictures and work on this weeks OCBP page!
I don't know if any of the other readers/photographers have noticed, but CCTV cameras have been added to a few M A N s in the Stagecoach fleet. I can only account for a set of 4 (I think) CCTV Cameras on the 7 branded bus, 2 near the door, two at the beginning of the gangway and I think a third half way towards the end of the bus. The small LCD TV which the driver views to look at the CCTV imaging from what I saw is always focused on the doors of the bus. I will try to get some pictures to include for next weeks page but I know they are on a route 7 branded bus as well as a couple of unbranded buses."
Richard Sharman writes "Mercedes Vario/UVG R624 CTX is sold and due to go to Redby after having been three months in store at Banbury.
The two N reg Dart/Dash's that have been in store at Banbury where picked up yesterday (Sat) for return to use at Oxford, one as Driver Trainer (temp) and one for SWT work."
Variety has been provided by this loan trainer from Leamington presently in use in Oxford.
Volvo B10M-55 with an Alexander P body came from Lancashire originally.
Volvo 20543 is seen here on a 33 working last Friday
Another M A N 22915 has also received a digital display after being overhauled and repainted.
20228 had been working the 7C last Friday thereafter returning to the depot.
The use of high floor buses on this group of routes is unusual
The only Vario workings into Oxford are now made by Witney based buses of which 42381 is one example.
Interestingly the fleet number on the fuel filler cap is 42318 !!!!!!!!!!!
Brookes buses can and do appear on a variety of normal bus routes during holiday times.
Here 18197 is seen on a route 3 working in St Aldates last Friday.
Although 22207 has recently been repainted it has not yet gained a newer digital display.
New to Oxford and now returned 33822 is seen working the 12 which used to be the 5A/5B when worked by OBC.
Dart 34471 is unbranded but is seen here working the 31 to Wantage. The graphic route display is unusual.
The expected use of SWT Olympians for service extras in connection with the Notting Hill Carnival did not take place due to their required use for an planned rail strike on Tuesday. Indeed at least Dart 32626 was expected to go south to Winchester for rail replacement work along with some other buses from Oxford. Pictures please?
Still looking shiny and new Neoplan 50113 hears the end of its run from London last Friday.
These coaches are now two years old and have mostly clocked up over 400,000 kms.
Neoplan 50120 is seen in Castle Street last Friday, heading for Gloucester Green coach station.
Ben Morroll noted that with the transfer of Megabus operations in London and handling by another depot, the use of ex M A N Oxford Tubes on the Birmingham service may cease. In his picture below we can see 50042 in use last week taken in Birmingham. The coach would have been on a layover in London allowing its use on a day service to Birmingham.
Scania 406 on an X39 Wallingford bound working last Friday.
Older Volvo B6 877 ex Chiltern Queens works the 103 last Friday.
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at
HISTORY IN PICTURES AND WORDS
If you have any pictures or historical memories and wish to submit them for this page please send them to the me at
Coming events & models
Duxford - Showbus - 24th September 2006. http://www.showbus.co.uk/
Running Day as advised by Peter Cartwright, Running Day Organiser Amersham & District Motorbus Society
Sunday 1 October 2006 - the 18th Running Day at Amersham.
As route 724 is 40 years old this year, apart from the feeders, I want to schedule a service between Watford and High Wycombe via Amersham - the original route south of Watford. This will be 29 years to the day since MA Garage took over duties from HE - High Wycombe Garage which closed the previous day, 30 September 1977.
This year should see the brand new bus station at High Wycombe open by this date and this would be the ideal place to terminate. More on this Running Day in due course.
It is hoped to celebrate 40 years since RMLs took over route 363 Totteridge - Holtspur in February 1966. Weather permitting it is hoped to have RML/RMLs running over the route on Sunday 19 February. Likewise a month later to run over the full length of Route 347 Hemel - Uxbridge which received RMLs on 20 March 1966. Anyone else interested in joining us?
Please feel free to contact me by phone 01494 437750 or by e-mail - Peter_Cartwright@wycombe.gov.uk - or post at 54 Guinions Road, HIGH WYCOMBE, HP13 7NX.
Latest Citaro models revealed
Dave Rogers sent the following press release.
CREATIVE MASTER NORTHCORD - PRESS RELEASE
Mercedes-Benz Citaro - ukbus 5004 Arriva Manchester - ukbus 5007 Oxford Bus
Creative Master Northcord Limited is proud to release two brand new liveries on its well known Mercedes-Benz Citaro casting. Both models have received significant, yet different, modifications to the tooling in order to represent, as close to 100% accuracy as possible, the real buses on the roads.
ukbus 5004 represents fleet number Arriva North West’s 2851 (CX55 EAA). This Mercedes Citaro is one of three such vehicles with dedicated route branding for service 700 and with the destination set to Manchester. The model features a redesigned interior layout that includes the reduced seating capacity and luggage racks.
Starting on 29th October 2005, Arriva North West’s service 700 runs from Manchester’s Piccadilly Railway Station to Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport. For the service, 3 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses were purchased and numbered 2851-3. They were painted in the same style and colours as the Scania OmniCity buses that already operated between John Lennon and Liverpool city centre.
ukbus 5007 represents fleet number 830 (X13 OXF) of Oxford Bus Company. 830 entered service in December 2003, to upgrade the X3 & X13 Oxford – Abingdon services. The bus was painted in a new and distinctive livery designed by Best Impressions.
ukbus 5007 features the smooth, curved windscreen with the destination display set behind the windscreen glass rather than the protruding destination found on the Park & Ride Citaros in the fleet. This feature is one of the standard specifications on other Citaros that the Go-Ahead Group has purchased.
Mercedes-Benz Citaro ukbus 5004 and 5007 models are each a one-piece casting whose clean lines accentuate the square-mounted, double-glazed windows and the livery application on which all logos and lettering are clearly legible. Another main feature on both models is the extensive portrayal of handrails. The headlight / indicator units at the front and indicator / tail light units at the rear are made of individual components to look more realistic.
The brand new single-door Mercedes-Benz Citaro bus models will be distributed by John Ayrey Die-Casts Limited (UK), Porte Publishing Company (Japan) and Concorde Hobby Shop (HK) respectively. The ukbus 5004 and 5007 models are limited to 1700 pieces worldwide respectively.
Model Buses for Sale
prices revised with immediate effect
I have a revised deal on Models for your readers...
Each of the following models are available for the following price :
Each Model = £10.00
Postage is £4.00 regardless of the number of models.
UKBUS 1014 - CREATIVE MASTER OXFORD P&R TRIDENT
UKBUS 5002 - CREATIVE MASTER OXFORD P&R CITARO
UKBUS 2012 - CREATIVE MASTER BROOKES BUS TRIDENT
CORGI ORIGINAL OMNIBUS OXFORD ESPRESS EXCALIBUR
Once again this offer is only available by emailing me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org
More models are for sale on my eBay store, http://www.modelsmk.co.uk/shop
Would readers who respond to the above please quote my site when doing so.
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Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
These are three most interesting sites which I do recommend
Mike Penn's photo page with much from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire as well as Buckinghamshire
Chris Lowe's Photo page - mainly North West UK
The Oxford Bus Museum
A web site which has paintings of buses.
The latest handbook from BBF was
on sale at Cobham and was the ever popular Stagecoach edition now in its 13th
As in earlier editions it includes the 2006 new bus orders.
Bus Services in Buckinghamshire
Bus services in Oxfordshire
Where are the Chilterns?
Visit this informative site through the link below.
Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002